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Purdue University

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Purdue
vs. Eastern Kentucky
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1380 AM

Boilermakers suspend linebacker

Out ‘indefinitely’ in wake of 4th arrest since June ’11

Beckford

– Dwayne Beckford’s future with the Purdue football team is “very questionable” according to coach Danny Hope after he was suspended indefinitely after an arrest Monday.

“Right now he’s been suspended indefinitely,” Hope said during his weekly teleconference Tuesday. “In all fairness to Dwayne, we want to make sure that we allow the legal system to do everything that they have to do.”

Hope initially announced the senior middle linebacker’s suspension in a news release late Monday.

Beckford, 22, was charged with two counts of possession of paraphernalia and one count of possession of a synthetic drug in Tippecanoe Superior Court 4, the Lafayette Journal and Courier reported Tuesday.

According to the Journal and Courier, it was Beckford’s fourth arrest in Tippecanoe County since June 2011.

Beckford finished second on the team last year with 91 tackles and was named All-Big Ten honorable mention (media). He was suspended and did not play in the Little Caesars Bowl game after he was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated Dec. 16.

He did not participate in spring drills but eventually returned to the program.

“My marching orders to him was to avoid any compromising situations or being around any compromising situations,” Hope said. “There’s a lot of information that we have to get a handle on.”

Hope said Joe Gilliam, Sean Robinson and Antwon Higgs will be called on to fill the void Saturday against Eastern Kentucky.

Hope called Gilliam the team’s “fourth-best linebacker right now.” Gilliam, a sophomore, appeared in 11 games and made one start last season. He finished with seven tackles.

“He’s been playing inside throughout the course of the spring, and he’s had reps at both the Mike and the Will position, and he’ll do a fine job,” Hope said.

“I really like his progress and development.”

Robinson moved to linebacker from quarterback in the spring.

“He is new to the position, but has a real passion for learning and playing the position,” Hope said.

Higgs has been an inside linebacker the bulk of his time at Purdue. The senior has appeared in 16 games, including two last season.

“We still have good players to compete for that spot,” Hope said. “I anticipate all three of those guys playing this Saturday and making a difference in the game this Saturday.”

lpope@jg.net

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